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Terry Flanagan dominates, stops Orlando Cruz to retain belt

Terry Flanagan is still the WBO lightweight titleholder after an easy win.

Boxing at Motorpoint Arena Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Terry Flanagan was expected to win without much trouble against Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz, and the 27-year-old WBO lightweight titleholder did just that, dropping and stopping Cruz in the eighth round today in Cardiff, Wales.

Flanagan (32-0, 13 KO) was making another fairly easy title defense, as Cruz (25-5-1, 13 KO) has repeatedly proven in the past that he’s far from world class. In his last world title opportunity in 2013 at featherweight, he was knocked out in seven rounds by Orlando Salido, a fight where he was pretty much mowed over by a superior fighter.

Flanagan’s three title defenses in 2016 have all been of this nature, including wins over Derry Mathews and a long-faded Mzonke Fana. The hope will be that 2017 brings stiffer challenges for him, because he is a talented fighter who belongs in the ring with the division’s best.

On the undercard

Tommy Langford (18-0, 6 KO) won the vacant British middleweight title by split decision over Sam Sheedy (17-2, 4 KO), on scores of 116-114, 117-113, and 113-115.

Junior middleweight Liam Williams improved to 16-0-1 (11 KO) with an eighth round stoppage of Hungary’s Gabor Gorbics (22-5, 13 KO).

Craig Evans (16-1-2, 3 KO) won a majority decision over Thomas Stalker (11-2-3, 2 KO), on scores of 96-94, 98-92, and 95-95. It was the third meeting between the two, after a pair of draws in 2015.

Kid Galahad (21-0, 12 KO) finished off his year with another soft opponent, beating Reynaldo Mora (7-20-1, 4 KO) by third round TKO. The 26-year-old super bantamweight returned to action in April of this year, and fought again in September, following a lengthy suspension for doping, which began in 2014.

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